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Local school districts continue making changes to combat pandemic-related learning loss

Test scores tell educators what they already know: students need to be in the classroom

Schools across Virginia are now scrambling to get students back on track.

Standardized test scores dropped significantly across Virginia for the first time since the start of the pandemic. As the first quarter wraps up, school districts are scrambling to help struggling students catch up.

Test scores tell educators what they already know: students need to be in the classroom. In the 2020-2021 school year, pass rates for students in the Commonwealth were just 69% for reading, 54% for math and 59% for science.

“We are really focusing on literacy 6-12 and that may seem crazy, but literacy is the access point to all content,” said Dr. Allison Jordan.

Dr. Jordan is the Director of Instruction for Lynchburg City Schools and said testing shows areas where students are excelling and where they are struggling.

“If all of the cohort of students hasn’t mastered the skill, it will be addressed in a group setting,” she added.

Scores are even lower for minority students, students with economic disadvantages and those with disabilities. Both Roanoke and Radford City Schools are seeing similar trends.

“We are especially seeing the drop off in math,” said Robert Graham.

Radford Superintendent Graham said they send students home early on Wednesdays to give teachers more time to prepare.

“We’re trying to do our best to protect that time, so they can focus on planning and collaborating with their teammates,” he said.

This is something Lynchburg City Schools will also start on Nov.10, along with a new reading program for the younger kids.

“It will also provide time for teachers to touch base with families of students who’ve been out to make sure that they’re not falling behind,” said Superintendent of Lynchburg City Schools Dr. Crystal Edwards.

More than $60-million has been set aside at the state level to help schools address the impact of COVID-19 on learning.

About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.